Steam Locomotives

Industrial Locomotives

New Zealand Railway’s Locomotives


Haig Class – Kerr Stuart and Co.


The Joffre design was very different to Kerr Stuart’s usual designs, which had many common parts and features. A key aspect of their manufacturing operation was that stocks of parts were available and locomotives could be assembled and delivered at short notice. The Joffre design arose solely due to a requirement of the French Government’s Commission Internationale de Ravitaillement, also known as the Mission Hauser, for their Artillery Railways.

Unlike the British, the French achieved significant standardisation of locomotives for their tactical light railways. Between September 1914 and November 1918 they took delivery of 320 identical 8 ton Decauville 0-6-0 side tank locomotives. Nevertheless, supplies were limited, and thus assistance was sought from British manufacturers, resulting in an order with Kerr Stuart to the same specification as the Decauvilles. All the basic dimensions were identical, including the appearance of the cab and side tanks as well as the layout of the boiler and sanding gear. The extent of the similarity appears to indicate that Kerr Stuarts were provided with working drawings by the French Government, or at least detailed specifications. The most obvious difference to the Decauville design was the addition of a distinctive spark-arresting chimney.

In total, seventy locos were supplied by Kerr Stuart in three batches:

Batch 1 in 1915: Nos. 2402 – 2416     Batch 2 in 1915: Nos. 2428 – 2457     Batch 3 in 1916: Nos. 2995 – 3019

Some sources indicate that the original order was for 100 locomotives and it appears that Kerr Stuarts, anticipating a further order, manufactured additional parts which were not eventually needed. The stock of surplus parts led to the design of an additional locomotive class, the Haig, which was externally very similar to the Joffre, but without the well tank.

Well, our collection of Kerr Stuart’s surplus parts, Haig #4185 was ordered by Kempthorne and Prosser on the 13th August 1929, for shunting at the companies Burnside facility. Dispatched from the makers’ yard on the 18 November 1929, it subsequently was loaded onto a ship and sailed to New Zealand. The locomotive entered service for her owners in May 1930. Not much is recorded about its career with Kempthorne and Prosser, and it appeared to be a bit more stable than its Welsh counterpart, Sgt Murphy, which overturned in 1932, killing the driver.

Kempthorne and Prosser was subsequently taken over in 1962 by Dominion Fertiliser. 4185 was largely out of use and in February 1966, it was offered to the Ocean Beach Railway. The locomotive was subsequently transported to the St Kilda site in August 1967, which means she has been at the Railway for 40 years in 2007. At some point, the locomotive was given a Westinghouse brake, complete with a pump, mounted horizontally between the frames and an engine brake, with a cylinder mounted under the drivers step. 1981 saw a large amount of repair work carried out on the locomotive at SIMS engineering, which subsequently allowed for the build up of metal on worn pins, turning the tyres on the wheel sets, truing the axle boxes and numerous other jobs. The boiler got some attention in May 1983, when the dry pipe holed through, with a new pipe being manufactured by Farra Engineering and subsequently fitted.

1986 saw all fire tubes replaced in the locomotive along with some work on the safety valves and some other essential equipment. 1987 saw the locomotive get a light motion overhaul along with some work on the Westinghouse pump. Also carried out at this time was some rust repairs on the cab. Also at this time the locomotive had a full repaint.

1992 saw the replacement of the smoke box, manufactured by Farra Engineering fitted into place and a replacement smoke box door, which was cast by the Gillies foundry in Oamaru, along with new fire bars. A new blast pipe was also fitted, the old one wearing a bit thin to be of use. It also saw the replacement of one of the spring leaves by Brown and Cope. Some boiler stays were replaced too at this point, but sourcing an appropriate material was found to be quite difficult until somebody suggested the use of reinforcing bar, which had the qualities needed. The tanks were also repaired and painted on the insides and the tops were made removable for easy access for any subsequent work.

1999 saw the front springs removed and broken leaves replaced, and the replacement of some boiler tubes

2000 saw an application to the boiler inspector to extend the 10 year period between major surveys by 1 year to allow the repairs to A67 to be completed, during this time the right had trailing axlebox was removed and repaired. Unfortunately when the locomotive re-entered service after this survey, it was found that the left hand trailing wheel was loose on its axle, and was subsequently moving back and forth on it. This meant the locomotive was laid up for the latest overhaul.

#4185 today is fully operational after an extensive overhaul had taken place and can be seen in action most weekend during the summer months at the St. Kilda Ocean Beach Railway site.

Kerr Stuart at the top of Kettle Bank - Photo by Geoffrey White The Kerr Stuart climbing Kettle Bank. Photo by Geoffrey White The Kerr Stuart at Kempthorn Prosser fertiliser works in Burnside, Dunedin. Kerr Stuart and A67 side by side at Ocean Beach Railway during the early construction of the organisation.

PWD 540 – John Fowler & Co.


Purchased in 1961 by the members of the New Zealand Railway & Locomotive Society – Otago Branch (now Otago Railway and Locomotive Society Inc.), this steam locomotive is New Zealand’s first preserved steam locomotive. It entered service in February 1963 during Festival Week.

More information about this locomotive is still being constructed.

Email us if you have photos or would like to share information about this locomotive.

A67 – Dübs and Co.


A67 is one of fourteen locomotives of the same type that were ordered by the New Zealand Government Railways in1872-73 to assist with the construction of new railway lines around the country. Dübs & Co of Glasgow, Scotland supplied 12 of these locomotives, which were placed in service in 1875. Ten went to Canterbury and the other two entered service in New Plymouth. The Yorkshire Engine Company supplied 2 other A class locomotives and these were arrived in Lyttelton.

A67, which now operates at the Ocean Beach Railway, was built by Dübs (Makers # 647/73) and was ready for service on 2nd February 1975, but it did not receive the road number 67 until 2 years later. A 67 operated in Oamaru and Christchurch for the New Zealand Government Railways, before being sold to the Hokonui Coal Co. in 1891. Somewhat unusually, NZGR purchased the locomotive again in 1892, and it was allocated the number 5 for the rest of its service at Dunedin and Invercargill before it was sold out of NZGR service. The Lovells Flat Coal Company purchased the locomotive and operated it on their line from 1897 to 1906. It subsequently moved north to Milton, where it worked for the Real Mackay Coal Co. from 1906 to 1907; then to the Bruce Railway and Coal Co. from 1908 to 1921

In 1921, after finishing in Milton, A67 moved a few miles north to Milburn to take up new career with the Milburn Lime and Cement Co. It must have been a good workhorse for them, as they had a new boiler constructed for the locomotive in 1946 at the Dunedin Engineering and Steel Co (now known as Farra Engineering Ltd). It worked at Milburn until being donated to the Ocean Beach Railway following the closure of the Lime Works in 1967. On the 2nd September 1967, after Ja1271 hauled train 144 through Milburn, A67 departed the Milburn Station yard for the final time, working its way to north to Dunedin, to its new owners. One week later, it departed the Dunedin Locomotive Depot, after enjoying the communal accommodation with many younger, larger locomotives. It was driven to the Dunedin Gasworks, where it was loaded on to a transporter and delivered to the Ocean Beach Railway.

Ocean Beach Railway pressed the locomotive into service almost immediately, with it hauling festival week trains after a repaint which was completed December 1967. It continued in active service with the railway until 1975, when a few mundane repairs turned into something much larger. The boiler tubes were replaced, as were the tanks, cab and funnel. A Westinghouse air brake compressor and drivers brake valve was also fitted. The pump was installed out of sight at the front of the engine, behind the cowcatcher, which allowed the engine to maintain clean lines. A new cab mitre was also made, out of solid billet, which feeds the steam auxiliaries in the cab.

The boiler water gauges were also replaced with standard industrial fittings. In 1991, the original slide regulator was modified and fitted with a Teflon slide to ease the amount of effort required to operate it, but unfortunately this did not have a lasting effect, so when the dry pipe had holed through in 1994, the opportunity was taken to replace the regulator with one from F111. It was around this time the ashpan was replaced. In 1996 saw the locomotive removed from service after a growing concern about the thin tyres and mechanical issues with components being outside of the tolerances allowed in our code, and a major was overhaul commenced.

Large amounts of the running gear were removed from the locomotive and reconditioned. The cylinders were removed from the frames, and sent to Farra Engineering to be rebored and have liners fitted to bring the cylinder diameter down to the correct size, having being worn out to 8 ¾ “ from the original 8”. Valve seat inserts, new pistons and rings were also fitted. New crankpins were also manufactured and fitted to one wheelset. After the fitting of the crankpins, the wheelsets were sent to Hutt Workshops in Woburn, Wellington for the fitting of brand new tyres. These were the No.55 type, which were also fitted to the DFT class locomotive, before these engines went to solid disc wheels. When the tyres were profiled, the extra width in the tyre was removed.

The wheelsets then proceeded to the Glenbrook Vintage Railway, just south of Auckland for quartering, which machines the crankpins so that they are perpendicular to the wheel (parallel with the axle) and at 90° to the crankpin on the other side (As there are 4 power strokes on 1 revolution of the locomotive wheels, the pins are arranged to even this out 360/4=90). Meanwhile, all was not quiet on the home front, with work being carried out on the axleboxes and various other worn components. New blocks for the braking on the locomotive were also cast at Hillside Workshops using patterns donated by A&G Price Engineering, and the brake rigging was thoroughly overhauled.

A67 re-entered service before its 125th birthday in 1998. The year 2000 saw the 10 year survey carried out, with other items being attended to, such as the fitting of a new blowdown valve. 2004 saw a few tubes replaced. The cast iron steam T was also replaced after developing a crack following many years of service. A new one fabricated and machined at Farra Engineering. The locomotive also has participated in many interesting activities away from the Ocean Beach Railway.

A67 has been apart of many events around New Zealand including visiting Glenbrook Vintage Railway near Auckland to help celebrate their 25th Anniversary and the engine also operated shuttle services in the south dock of Dunedin Railway Station for both Josephine’s 125th celebration and the railway stations 100th celebration along with leading the locomotive cavalcade along the mainline. The visit to Weka Pass Railway in Canterbury remains a firm favourite in many peoples minds. A special thanks is due for many financial contributions the locomotive has received, including from the Caversham Foundation and NZ Lotteries Commission, as well as the people who have worked on restoring and operating the locomotive since it had arrived at the Ocean Beach Railway.

The Kerr Stuart and A67 climb Kettle Bank for a photo shoot for the 2007 FRONZ Conference. Photo By Nigel Hogg A67 in the workshop under repairs / 10 year boiler survey.

A66 – Dübs and Co.


Information about this locomotive is still being constructed.

Email us if you have photos or would like to share information about this locomotive.


D6 – Neilson & Co.


Information about this locomotive is still being constructed.

Email us if you have photos or would like to share information about this locomotive.

D6 leaving longterm storage heading for the workshop prior to track redevelopments D6 as seen today in the workshop in St Kilda.

F111 – Dübs and Co.


This is an example of one of the best steam locomotives to work in this country. The ‘Dunedin’ class 0-6-0T was introduced in 1873 to work the Dunedin and Clutha Railway. So successful were these engines that they could be found working as shunting locomotives on the N.Z.R. up until the 1960’s. F111 was built in 1879 and sold by the N.Z.R. in 1944 to the Oamaru Harbour Board who used it up until 1966. It was then sold to the O.B.R. in a very sad state. Major restoration was carried out and in 1975 it took part in the Ohai Railway Board’s 50th celebrations. Unfortunately the boiler was condemned in 1980 and now awaits a new one.

F111 working the Wairio Branch in April 1975. Photo by Paul Stokes.